Microsoft upgrades JavaScript, Visual Studio development tools

WinJS JavaScript toolbox focuses on 'universal experiences' for Windows 10, while Visual Studio will get Enterprise, Professional, and Community editions

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Microsoft is making more accommodations for developers in both the JavaScript and Visual Studio realms, including promoting the development of "universal experiences."

With a preview of WinJS 4.0 (Windows Library for JavaScript 4.0), Microsoft wants to enable universal experiences, which can run on a range of form factors, including phones, tablets, PCs, or even TVs. Microsoft also has referred to this strategy as universal applications, part of the company's Windows 10 battle plan.

"WinJS controls make it easy to create responsive apps that not only work across all screen sizes, but with all input methods as well," the Windows Apps Team said in a blog post late last week. "The flexibility and features of the control enable your app to easily adapt its configuration to the current size of the screen, supporting phones, tablets, PCs, and everything in between." WinJS SplitView, also featured in version 4.0, enables an application behavior and style in which an app has a navigation pane on the left and content on the right, and ListView control capability, for displaying a list of items, features native performance and backs multiple app scenarios.

Version 4.0 also focuses on interoperability. "We believe you should use WinJS and your favorite JS frameworks together, whatever they may be," the blog post says. "The AngularJS-WinJS wrapper we now provide allows you to use WinJS seamlessly in your Angular projects."

WinJS 4.0 Preview is downloadable at the TryWinJS website, and the full release is due later this year.

In the IDE realm, Microsoft's Visual Studio 2015 tool set, due this summer, will highlight three principal offerings intended to meet specific needs for developers. Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise with MSDN is geared to teams building high-scale applications and services and unites the Premium and Ultimate versions of the tool set. It also offers advanced testing and devops. Next on the roster is Visual Studio Professional with MSDN, a collection of tools and services for individual developers or small teams to build professional-grade applications. Rounding out the rollout is Visual Studio Community, offering free access to tools for non-enterprise and open source development.

Features of the Visual Studio platform will be more broadly available across the tool set, such as making CodeLens, which provides information about the health of code being edited, part of the Professional and Enterprise editions. It had only been part of Ultimate.

"We'll continue to offer Visual Studio Professional, Team Foundation Server, Team Foundation Server Express, Visual Studio Express, and MSDN platforms as a part of the complete Visual Studio 2015 and MSDN portfolio," said Mitra Azizirad, Microsoft general manager for developer platform marketing and sales, in a blog post on Tuesday. Customers with subscriptions for the Premium or Ultimate editions with MSDN get automatic upgrades to the Enterprise edition, she added.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.